A few months back my husband and I started discussing the idea of home school for Grace. We have yet to decide about it for long term but we did decide that adding a bit of structure to our days would be a good thing. As it was we had 100% free play time with bits of "teaching" stuck in whenever the opportunity arose, not a bad way of doing things but I could see the willingness and the need to go ahead and start short, informal but structured lessons. So I got to searching (and thank you Pinterest) and put some things together. I think it will also help to have some ideas at-the-ready once the new baby comes.
I have the added benefit of having teachers for parents. Particularly that my mom is an elementary educator with tons of knowledge and even some fun items to pass along, including our calendar.
At the suggestion of my mom (and my own memories) we start with the calendar. Lil' Hoot loves to tack the date up each date then we talk about the day and count the apples. She already knows about charts from watching the Sid the Science Kid and tells me about them whenever she sees one.
I developed our lessons based on the inspiration I found at Our Preschool Homeschool. I altered it significantly to fit my daughter, her learning style and knowledge base, which is one of the great things about teaching at home. I developed our themes based around what outings we have each week so that life conveniently intertwines with teaching.
Our first week's theme was Healthy Bodies, to include body parts, fitness, nutrition and doctor visits. I chose to explore four different aspects because Lil' Hoot is familiar with all these concepts and I don't plan to delve deeply into them. I developed what I am calling a "Teaching Guide" - it has all the ideas I have for each day listed in one place. Some days we don't get to everything, other days she has a long attention span and I have to come up with more.
Teaching Guide - Week one - Healthy Bodies
Biggest hit of the week - tracing our bodies and labeling body parts.
We practiced laying still and tracing our bodies with sidewalk chalk over the weekend with Daddy so Lil' Hoot would understand what I needed her to do on Monday for our first lesson. She has since requested to do this over and over, each time she tells me about the body parts shown.
Her attention span varied from day to day (as expected) but overall I was surprised by her level of interest. I used transition songs from Sid the Science Kid since she loves that show and is familiar with the songs. (Example, we sing "School Time" rather than "Rug Time" and she now gets excited and sings along as we head to our school space.)
As for books, I am not purchasing books for our lessons. I simply search our local library system for books that fit our topic.